(Closed) Courthouse wedding and then ceremony…how to announce?

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2778 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Your probably not going to get the nicest responses back from people on this one….just to warn you.

I got married legally and we are having a ceremony next year.  We annouced it by word of mouth to our families and they are still excited about going to the ceremony.

Why do you feel the need to send out marriage annoucements after the legal part?  Wouldn’t that just be confusing?  Like hi I got married but I’m doing it again?

I would hold of on that and wait to send out an annoucement until the second ceremony.  I would do something informal (like word of mouth) after the legal part.  Especially since you are having a small ceremony the second time around.  

Here are my answers:

Do I only put on the announcements that I got married and not mention the future ceremony to those who are not going to be invited?

-I would not do this at all, but if you feel the need to then I would only send annoucements to the people your not inviting to the next ceremony and save the dates to the people that you are inviting, with wording such as come join in our celebration of marriage (that’s what we did on ours, since we couldn’t put we are getting married at our ceremony, we are celebrating it and having the union blessed by family and god, but we still consider it a wedding ceremony since we went to the clerks office and filled out paperwork with no officiant, no vows, no ceremony at all).

Do I add gift registry now or when I send out invites for the ceremony?

This is the etiquette I found for this online:

“Don’t: Reference your registry info on any stationery, such as your save the date or invitation.You can, however, include the URL for your wedding website―which should contain the details of where you’re registered―on those printed materials. “It’s perfectly acceptable to tell someone where you’re registered if they ask what kind of gift you’d like, but mentioning gifts in any way on your invitations is in very poor taste,” says Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies “

However, most people would tell you that you can’t register for gifts if you are already married and I’m inclined to agree.  We will not be asking for or registering for gifts for our ceremony, it wouldn’t feel right and we do have a lot of things and are pretty much all set.

Do I only include gift registry to those who will be invited to the ceremony?

See above.

Should I just put our new address on the annoucement and also announce our move and say nothing about gift registry?

Heres a link on how to handle the new address thing, and yes don’t put anything about gift registry: http://www.dexknows.com/local/weddings/guides_and_videos/what-put-wedding-announcements-3222/

Post # 4
8360 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Don’t mention gifts or the planned party next year especially since not everyone receiving the wedding announcement will be invited to your renewal/convalidation next year.

Next year just send out the invite to the party. If anyone has a problem with it then they will be able to decline the invitation. I applaud you for being upfront and not lying to your guests.

Post # 5
14498 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We got married a full year before we had our wedding, we just told people as we saw them (the family we told before hand as we didn’t want anyone upset that we didn’t invite them to the JOP wedding) explained the situation and no one even scoffed a word.  When people first found out they seemed disappointed they missed something but when we explained that we were still having the “wedding” everything was good in the world again.

Post # 6
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

First, I see you are NEW to WBee… so Welcome to “the Hive”

Like j_jaye: said, I too commend you for wanting to be upfront with your friends & family on the fact that you are getting married in a small ceremony… and then “celebrating” that marriage later.

As a bit of an Etiquette Snob… let me tell you how I would handle this situation (to be truthful, this is one of those “modern” situations where you are breaking new ground in regards to the Rules of Etiquette… but paying due respect to the OLD Rules, certainly will serve you well in the long run in that you’ll run the risk of offending fewer people.  And really, who wants to start out their married life on that foot).  And if it is any comfort, I myself am going thru a similar situation… in that Mr TTR are Eloping and then planning a Back Home Reception afterwards… so I do understand the challenges of doing something that “isn’t the usual”

After your “Legal Ceremony” send out Marriage Announcements to whomever you wish.

The format to follow will depend on WHO would normally be proud to announce your Marriage (or would have hosted the Wedding)…

So from Mom & Dad of the Bride

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Miller

have the honour of

announcing the marriage of their daughter

Heidi Sue


Mr. Francis Scott Corwin

Saturday, the fourteenth of June

two thousand and twelve

Mansfield, Pennsylvania

Like a regular Wedding Invite you can alter the wording to fit whomever is doing the announcing… so there are variations for using Both Parents Names, for a Bride that is an Orphan, Divorced or Widowed… or even for a Couple doing their own announcing of the marriage (if you let me know your situation, I can certainly provide the correct wording as per the Emily Post Institute (which is where I referenced the above quoted text from)

What you are having later on, is known as a Vow Renewal.  It is perfectly acceptable to send out Invites to this “social event” as you get closer to the date (I would not send out Save The Dates for a Vow Renewal).  The Vow Renewal Invites can be as Formal or Informal as you like… Printed Invitations, Handwritten Notes, Email Invites, or even word of mouth or phone calls.

The nice thing about a Vow Renewal is for the most part there are NO RULES… you can make this party whatever you wish.  Formal / Informal, Big or Small… in Wedding Dress or street clothes etc.  You can direct the event as however you see fit.

As you are already married, having a Registry can be seen as “tacky” in some circles.  Most Couples just understand that more than likely if friends & family want to get them a gift, chances are that it is going to be done quietly… maybe a cheque or gift card tucked into a Card of Congratulations (those will probably happen once you send out the Announcements).  You can’t really dictate WHEN someone chooses to give you a gift, or what it is… or how it is done.  So you kind of have to “go with the flow” on this one Wedding aspect. 

It is certainly possible that people might not do anything now, and give you something at the Vow Renewal… but again you can’t appear to ask for that (or even anticipate it). 

So in this particular case… NO Wedding Registry, NO mention on any Website, Blog or Facebook etc should be included anywhere on your Wedding Annoucements.  This is the one element of a Wedding that you gave up by having what is technically an Elopement (along with any other regular Pre-Wedding Events that are used to build anticipation for a Bride & Groom… Shower, Bachelorette, Bachelor Party)

IF after the Announcements come out and anyone should ask… “We’d love to get you a present”… the correct response should be “How generous of you… anything you choose would be fine”… and leave it at that.  Most Guests will take the hint, and give you Cash or a Gift Card.

Along with your Wedding Announcements you can send out what is known as an “At Home” Card (just stuff them in the same envelope).  An At Home Card, essentially is the written announcement that oftentimes is included with a Wedding Invite telling people the address of the Couple’s New Home.

Mr. & Mrs. Francis Scott Corwin

will be at home

after July seventh

3882 Grand Avenue

Houston,Texas 77001

Telephone:  (898) 555-4321

Or alternatively…

will be in their home… OR have moved into their home at (in which case there is no need for the date to be printed)

Likewise you can change out your names to a more casual stance…

Heidi and Francis Corwin… OR if the Bride is keeping her own name…

Heidi Miller and Francis Corwin

As you have said, that you and your Hubby are moving into a NEW space, it is also perfectly acceptable in this situation to have a Housewarming Party.  That might effectively kill 2 birds with 1 stone… when it comes to having a “reason to celebrate” and possibly getting a few things for your home.  It is also perfectly acceptable to send out Invites to such a Party. 

And in this particular instance you could “push” the bounds of etiquette a wee bit and register for say a modest Registry.  BUT as always, you couldn’t really “advertise” that too much without being seen as gift grabby.  So NO Mention of that on the Housewarming Invites (just rely on friends and family members to get the word out)

This is an occasion when starting a Blog about your NEW Life might come in handy (focus the theme on being Newlyweds).  Then you could find a “subtle” way on such a medium to mention the trials of being a Newlywed and that you’ve come to realize just how many things “setting up house” requires.  (Example do an entry about your Kitchen situation… and Gadgets & Gizmos… and you and your Hubbys different Cooking Styles… or WHY it is a good idea to have 3 or more sets of sheets… as having one and and continually having to find the time to wash & dry it on the same day and get it back on the bed is exhausting, now that you are married and find life to be a lot more busier than when there was just YOU to think about)

You can then say, you’ve made a list of to keep track of what is lacking in your NEW LIFE and hoping that over the course of the next year or two, can tick off more boxes (the list aka Registry can then be mentioned… and ask for feedback perhaps from other Brides / Couples to get their thoughts).  Just make sure, that that the list is limited to JUST ONE STORE (otherwise others will “see thru” your posting… and it’ll look gift grabby too)

As I said, you’d be pushing the boundary here a wee bit… but as it isn’t tied to your Wedding or Vow Renewal… just to your Blog as a Newlywed it should fly.

If the focus of your Blog is Newlywed Life… then you can tell whoever you like about the Blog… just don’t put the info on any printed Invites etc.

Having such a Blog could come in handy as you prepare for your Vow Renewal… especially if you wish to frame it to look more like a Wedding.  Nice place to chat about Plans & Details… and as the event gets closer you can use it to announce things Guests will want to know (or you could link to a Website that you specifically create JUST for the Wedding / Vow Renewal itself… which is what I’d do in your situation)

I hope this helps in your quest to be aware of Etiquette… and if you have any more questions, do post again, I’d be glad to help / make suggestions.

*NOTE – the Annoucement / At Home Info above shows the correct phrasing (words per line) capitals & punctuation


Post # 9
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Kerbear16:  hi ! My husband and I did the same thing when he arrived earlier this year. We have told people by word of mouth what has happened, and I haven’t heard anything bad. We let them know we are having a ceremony in front of everyone as his family wasn’t able to come here and see us exchange our vows at the courthouse. We are having a very short ceremony and then having a huge party. Most of his friends, it’ll be their first time here, and we’re going to celebrate and have a fantastic time. I see no problem with this, and have read about others doing the same thing. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how the ceremony is going to go, but hubby and I both believe that the day we exchanged vows as our original wedding day, we don’t want a do-over. We just want our family and friends all together 🙂 

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